Bessie Katheryn (Robinson, Boudreau) Smith, 74, died peacefully in her home near Point Defiance in Tacoma, Wash. after a valiant three-year fight with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.
She was born in Jenkinjones, W. Va. to Inez Kennedy Robinson (who resided in Oakdale and died in 2003) and George Litz Robinson. After her father’s death in 1948, the family moved to Norfolk, Va. where she graduated from Maury High School in 1955.
She married Eddie Arthur Boudreau in 1955 and raised four daughters, moving to many duty stations in the U.S. Navy while her husband was serving his country. The family spent one year during the Vietnam War in Yokohama, Japan, which she remembers fondly. They settled in Gig Harbor, Wash. where she applied her creativity as a seamstress, worked in the home, and in the retail and the travel industry. She attended the Gig Harbor United Methodist Church.
After her divorce in 1989, she moved to a new life in Oakdale and married Don Smith of Westerville, Ohio. They spent 21 years living here.
She was active in the Oakdale Performing Arts Commission, the Oak Valley Hospital Auxiliary, the WIGGS group and St. Mathias Episcopal Church. She also worked in retail and travel offices. She and her husband had many great travel adventures in Hawaii, Europe and the U.S. Their families had many meaningful visits to their home in Oakdale.
Mrs. Smith and her husband more recently moved back to Washington to be closer to most of her daughters. The family feels fortunate for the past two years together to support her and her husband, provide care for her and to make final plans.
She was part of the one percent of patients living with AML for more than a year. She appreciated her family and friends for the love and care during her illness. She also praised the care and expertise she received at University of California San Francisco, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma. The family thanks the Caring Bridge for the ability to keep everyone informed of how she was doing as she was living with cancer.
She had many recent visits from family and friends, and heartfelt cards and letters greatly buoyed her spirits. The family treasures the memory of Thanksgiving Day together. She passed with peace, knowing the love and respect everyone had for her and the great impact she had on the people in her life.
She is survived by her husband, Don; daughters, Kathy (Everett) Spring of Seattle, Wash., Debbie (Andy) Nelson of Fallon, Nev., Sherry (Brian) Mancuso, of Puyallup, Wash., Karen Boudreau, of Tacoma, Wash.; stepchildren, Mark, Claudia, and Deidre; sister, Bobbi (Bob) Andrews of Norfolk, Va; brothers- and sisters-in-law; 10 grandchildren; step-grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
A public viewing will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27 at Edwards Funeral Home, Tacoma, Wash. A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28, at St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church, Tacoma.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in her name to any of the aforementioned organizations.